Heaven Can Wait
"Heaven Can Wait has worked in the community and area for almost 18 years now, and so much change in those 18 years! We’ve been living our lives, raising our children, working, paying mortgages, struggling through hard times, happy when life feels settled for a bit. We’ve all lived through a major disaster, we’ve seen the town shift and change, our lives shift and change along with it. For me, HCW is my life. I started HCW because there was a need, and I believe there still is ... the animals of our community have also shared our lives, through all our personal change, and for most of the people I know, animals are indeed a valued part of their family.
For those who know me, you know I struggle with asking for help. At the core of it, I’m a private person and sometimes it’s just hard to say the words out loud. The words that I need help, HCW needs help if we’re going to survive. And I suppose what I also need to know is if others feel there is still value to the work we do ...
In the last 48 hours, we had a kitten die of a heart defect. We returned 2 dogs to their owners. We took in a stray cat from west of HR, loaned out our trap to woman south of town to catch a stray holed up in her barn, took in a dog found on Coal Trail, High River Vet did 1 dental, 1 cat spay, 2 neuters, and did a follow up on our Shepherd MacKenzie with chronic diahrrea, we picked up one of our tattoo’d cats turned in as a stray at Bridlewood Vet, showed Lucy to a potential new home, picked up cat food, had a pallet of litter delivered from Dan, dealt with low water pressure from our well, talked with 7 owner-surrenders about options for them, signed off on a Spay It Forward form for a woman who can’t afford to get her cat spayed, and did all of our cleaning routines caring for 175 cats and a full house of dogs, both boarding and rescue. I returned or sent over 50 txts today ... followed up with the woman who found the 2 mares and foal, rescheduled the meeting with our accountant and bookkeeper, put the word out to find people to help an elderly woman who had lost her old dog, talked with my mom’s nursing home about a piece of equipment she needs and how much that’s going to cost, talked with another woman who is worried about her dog and if she should go to vet, set up a family dog-walking time for the weekend, scheduled our septic clean out, tried to arrange someone to do a dump-run for us, and get Atlas down to the Centre in time for Blessing of the Animals.
Sometimes the days are so busy they blend into each other. It’s a good busy, though, despite always being tired! And I think the fact that we’re as busy as we are means there is a real need in our area for someone to call for animal issues, of all kinds.
Animal welfare is not a money-making business. I actually don’t think it should be, truthfully. We’ve been fortunate over the years to have just enough, pay our bills, keep the lights on, get the veterinary care we need when we need it. These last few years have been harder, these last 6 months especially. And now I honestly don’t know what to do ... there is enough to keep us going until mid-November, maybe early December. Any money I had saved from the sale of the old house is gone now, the last of it seeing us through the next few weeks, but after that, there is not enough coming in to cover our debts to Dr. Brent & Dr. Yolande nor Dr. Mike & Dr. Dirk in Nanton, or to meet our monthly expenses for food, litter, the Centre, utilities, cleaning supplies, and on and on. We’ve been relying on my savings and whatever revenue the kennel generates, but it’s simply not enough for HCW to keep going.
I don’t want to close HCW. Nor does Angie, Kerrin, Debby, Mikaela, Emily and all the rest of our core people. There are good ideas on how to restructure HCW and make us more financially stable into the future, and many of those have been discussed with some solid advice available to us, but those ideas will take time and we don’t have that luxury anymore.
How does the community feel? Is the animal work we do in HR, Okotoks and the surrounding areas, plus the work we do in crisis situations such as the Priddis Heelers and Milk River, valuable to the people living their lives here? Do we keep trying with your support, or is it time to make some truly difficult decisions in the near future? I have to believe people will help.
Paying the vets who support us is most urgent. We owe High River Vet $18,000 and Nanton Vet at $5,000. We have to buy 3 – 4 pallets of litter a month from Home Hardware, approx. $1200. We buy $2000 of pet food and supplements each month, mostly from Pet Valu Okotoks and specialty foods from the clinic. Our rent at the Centre is $2500 a month. Our utilities and insurance average $3,000. Cleaning supplies run us upwards of $1000/month. Randy was just out to shock our well because we’ve been having water issues. We’ve done all the urgent repairs to the buildings, but there are still many more needed and waiting in the wings. Through it all, the animals keep coming, some move onto their new lives, some will stay here until it’s their time. Behind each animal, there is a person. Either the one who found the kitten on a dirt road, or the dog running around the traffic circle, or the one who called about an injured heron. Or the woman who adopted the Riversides, or the couple who welcomed Ebony into their home, or Lynne who just adopted a 10 year old Shepherd.
I have to believe people will help. Because we really need it.
Thanks so much for listening." -Kim
Heaven Can Wait won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
That being said though, it is so important to remember that we must continue to support HCW through on-going donations (whether it be monetary or food, toys, etc.) and volunteering.
Since my campaign won't be accepting any more donations within the next 24hrs, I just want everybody to know that if you choose to donate again in the future, you can either send direct E-transfers to Kim - her email is firstname.lastname@example.org - you can donate to the vet clinics around High River/Nanton area, or you can stop by the shelter with your donation (that's a given, however I know many of you don't live around the area so perhaps an e-transfer or sending a cheque is a more viable option.)
This doesn't just apply to Heaven Can Wait though, if there is an animal shelter in your area, I absolutely encourage everyone to support them as much as you can, so we can increase the chances of every animal in a shelter to find their "forever home."
I am so proud to say that we live in such a supportive and caring community; it never ceases to amaze me how much we have all helped each other in the past few years alone.
I figure we can all take this as a lesson to show some more support to local businesses and organizations. They need us as much as we need them, and sometimes we don't realize it until it has to come to something like this.
But again, thank you to everyone who helped step up to keep Heaven Can Wait alive. When I went to go visit Kim yesterday, the shelter was so busy and donations were pouring in. It was incredible!
I just wanted to thank everybody yet again for being so incredibly generous and supportive. Kim is being updated constantly about the funds raised by this campaign.
Also, a few people have asked me whether I will recieve the money to give to Kim, or whether it will go to Kim directly and I just want to clarify that I have absolutely NO access to any of the funds raised.
The GoFundMe employees are monitoring this page because it has raised so much money in the past two days and I can assure you that the ONLY person who can access or manage the funds raised is Kim herself. Thanks for listening!
Thank you again to everyone for supporting Heaven Can Wait.
Keep in mind, Kim is also accepting non-monetary donations such as food, litter, toys, etc.
Oh dear Kim and crew: I missed seeing your original post but I'm heartbroken that it's come to this. The good you have done is immeasurable!!! It's made me think about wanting to provide animal rescue in my own community (Vulcan) and how important it is for these animals. Praying for heaps of support!!!
This is proof that "every little bit helps" Sometimes we feel frustrated that we can't afford to give very much - but just look what happens when we all band together!!! We Love you Kim and all the sacrafices you have made for HCW. We have your back. Xox
Indiana came to us from Kim in 2007. She had been adopted and returned to Kim 3 times before she settled in with us. Kim and I spent an hour on the phone because she wanted to make sure Indy's new family understood that she was going to be a handful. She's almost 11 now and starting to slow down a bit! She has been the best dog and a real good sport when she first had to share her house with a doggie little sister and now with a crazy toddler! HCW is such a great organization. Keep up the great work Kim and staff!
Central Italy Earthquake. Please donate to my Crowdfunding Page Hello, We're raising €15000 to help the Ciambottis to rebuild their shop damaged during the central Italy earthquake. Please donate to my Gofundme Crowdfunding Page and help make it happen: Thanks for your support
sorry I could not help for you stopped taking donation but please keep doing what you are doing we need people like you in the would . im a pet lover to and am glad to see you have reach your goal you are so deserving .
Praise God! So happy that you got enough money to sustain this foundation. You do a wonderful thing in helping all these animals. God Bless you!
Is it true that heaven can wait is no longer accepting donations? if so, who do you suggest needs my donation the most?
So impressed with the community of people who made this happen!
This support for HCW is truly incredible! It's very heartwarming to know that people care so much about the animals and the work that you all do.
Thank you to you Chantelle for raising awareness and getting the GoFund Me page going. We would never have known how close HCW was to closing without you putting the message out there. Kim has said before she finds it hard to ask for help and look what happens when you do. I don't live in High River anymore, but know what an integral part of the town and surrounding areas HCW is! I too was excited to see what the total was this morning. People are truly amazing.